Payne Statement on Netanyahu Speech to Congress

March 2, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) today made the following statement ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday:  

“I strongly support Israel, and believe it’s absolutely critical that we maintain the strong relationship between our two countries.

“I also am in complete agreement with Israel that we must prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  

“I welcome a visit from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the chance to greet him. But I believe that his visit should take place after the Israeli election and Iran sanctions deadline.

“Speaker Boehner’s unilateral invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu was a breach of protocol that I do not feel was in the best interest of either of our countries.

“Israel is our closest ally in the region, and we should continuously strengthen our relationship, not undermine it by bringing partisan politics into the mix.

“After much consideration, I have decided, for these reasons, not to attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech.”